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How do I beef up my prospects?

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by 4EverBluDevils, May 15, 2007.

  1. 4EverBluDevils

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    Well now that I've decided to pursue a career as a psychiatrist, I need to know how to beef up my credentials, because it doesn't sound like I can get into med school.

    I was planning to do post-bacc and try to get a 4.0 plus a decent MCAT score. But my undergrad GPA is 3.3, which is not good enough. I also have a withdrawal of two semesters when I had mental health problems which is what inspired me to pursue a career in mental health in the first place. So do you think maybe I should get a masters in Biology to boost my GPA or work in a clinical setting for a few years to boost my resume?
     
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  3. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
    Physician Faculty

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    If you didn't know when you apply to medschool they take in 2 GPAs.

    You split your courses between science classes vs non science classes.

    Psychology classes can only count as science classes if they had a lot of physiology or biochem in it. E.g. physiological psychology or psychopharmacology can count as science classes.

    They care much more about the science GPA than the all other classes GPA.

    and social science classes like Psychology? Nope-don't count unless they fit the above exception.

    I've also noticed that MCATs really do matter, IMHO much more than GPA. I've talked to a few people on admissions boards and they told me they care about MCATs more because several schools vary in how they assign grades. They know a 3.2 is worth more than a 3.7 from certain schools and also varies depending on the major.

    Again, if you go to medschool, beef up your ability to hack through science classes by taking the same ones you'll take in medschool.

    Biochemistry
    histology
    Anatomy
    Microbiology
    Pathology
    Physiology
    Neuroscience
    Statistics

    Again, if you can't hack these classes, reevaluate what you're doing.

    I wouldn't exactly consider a bio masters. I would consider a masters in medical studies, physiology or a similar medical field or do a Post Bacc. Problem with biology is its biology--the study of all life. You might not do much medical stuff in a biology masters-such as studying lakes, ecosystems etc.

    Good luck to you!
     
  4. sga430

    sga430 Banned
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    ideally try and do ur med school in america. however if u dont get in try to get into an osteopathic school or as a last resort u can get into a foreign school. psych is still img friendly although it is getting tougher.
     
  5. PsychMD2100

    PsychMD2100 Psychiatrist in Training

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    First off, congrats on making a wise choice. Psychiatry is the way to go in mental health.

    Second, in addition to whopper's advice regarding MCATs and GPAs, work on a consistent presentation of your past. Rather than hiding from the 2 semesters' absence for mental health reasons, make sure you confront it head on in your personal statement. I worked in med school admissions for 4 years, rising to a sitting/voting committee member during my senior year. While I don't know how other med schools operate, I will say that once a person made it to our interview round (via GPA/MCAT), we really did read personal statements. Personal statements at my med school would often make or break an applicant.

    Keep in mind, by the time you reach the interview stage, everyone's essentially on level footing. The question on everyone's mind shifts from "Can this guy/gal hack it?" to "Would we want to work with this guy/gal everyday?"

    Good luck, think positive, and keep up the press.
     
  6. 4EverBluDevils

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    thank you thank you thank you! I feel my spirits have been lifted.
     
  7. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    Hey, that's why we went into this business!:)
     

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